Another one down. Britney Spears‘ lawyer Sam Ingham III resigned after a report that he’s “loyal” to her father, Jamie Spears, and leaks her “movements and activities” to him.
TMZ reported on Tuesday, July 6, that Ingham, who has been Britney’s attorney since her conservatorship was created 2008, plans to file legal documents asking to be dismissed as her lawyer. At a court hearing in front of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny on June 23, Britney revealed that Ingham never told her that she could petition for her conservatorship to end. “I want changes, I deserve changes. I was told I have to be sat down and evaluated again,” she said. “Ma’am, I didn’t know I could petition the conservatorship to end. I honestly didn’t know that.”
Sources told TMZ on Monday that Ingham is “extremely upset” that Britney told the judge that she didn’t know she could file for her conservatorship to end. The insiders claim that Ingham “regularly” told Britney about her options, including for her conservatorship to end, but she “never wanted to pull the plug.”
TMZ’s sources also claim that Britney talked to Ingham about removing her dad as her conservator, but “never discussed ending her conservatorship. TMZ reported that Ingham’s “last straw” was when Britney claimed to the judge that her lawyer didn’t tell her what he’s legally required to do, such as informing her about her options about her conservatorship. TMZ also reported that Ingham won’t include these details in his filing due to attorney/client confidentiality.
Ingham was appointed by the court as Britney’s attorney in 2008. At her court hearing in June, Britney told the judge that she wants to hire her own attorney. She also claimed that Ingham didn’t want her to speak on the record about her conservatorship out of the fear that she’ll be sued.
“My lawyer, Sam, has been very scared for me to go forward because he’s saying if I speak up, I’m being overworked in that facility of that rehab place, that rehab place will sue me,” he said. “He told me I should keep it to myself. I would personally like to—actually, I’ve grown with a personal relationship with Sam, my lawyer, I’ve been talking to him like three times a week now, we’ve kind of built a relationship but I haven’t really had the opportunity by my own self to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself. And I would like to be able to do that.”
Ingham’s resignation comes days after The New Yorker published an investigation into Britney’s conservatorship, which found that Ingham receives an annual salary of $520,000 as Britney’s lawyer. (In comparison, Britney’s living expenses in 2019 were $438,360.) The New Yorker also reported that Reva Goetz, the judge on Britney’s case when her conservatorship was created, appointed Ingham was Britney’s lawyer in 2008 and granted Britney’s conservators’ petition to waive the requirement to notify her that an attorney had been chosen on her behalf. According to the magazine, Ingham only talked to Britney for about 15 minutes two days after her conservatorship was created.
Sources also told The New Yorker that many close to Britney feel that Ingham was “loyal” to both the conservatorship and Jamie, despite representing Britney. Jacqueline Butcher, a family friend of Britney’s who attended her conservatorship hearing in 2007, claimed to The New Yorker that Jamie told her that Ingham reports Britney’s “movements and activities” to him.
Days after Britney’s court hearing, news broke that Ingham had drafted a petition to end Britney’s conservatorship but never filed it. A source told Page Six on Tuesday that Britney “doesn’t understand” what took her attorney so long. “Britney doesn’t understand what the holdup is,” the insider said. “She feels she made it crystal clear in court that she wants the conservatorship terminated, but nearly two weeks later, she’s still waiting for the petition to be filed.”
The source continued, “Britney and Sam [Ingham] have been in touch multiple times since her testimony. During those conversations, she has reiterated to him that she wants him to file the paperwork to end the conservatorship.”
For more about Britney Spears, read her 2001 book, A Mother’s Gift. The semi-autobiographical fiction novel, which was co-written with Britney’s mother Lynne Spears, follows Holly Faye Lovell, a 14-year-old girl from the small town of Biscay, Mississippi, who has dreams of becoming a singer. When Holly becomes the youngest student ever to win a scholarship to the prestigious Haverty School of Music, she must make a choice of whether to leave her mother, Wanda, behind or pursue her dreams. As Holly starts her new life and makes posh new friends, she finds herself embarrassed by her mom and their humble background, as Wanda struggles with a long-hidden secret that could destroy her bond with her daughter forever.
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